5. Mac OS installation from sources

The instructions for installing both the Fast DDS library and the Fast DDS-Gen generation tool from sources are provided in this page. It is organized as follows:

5.1. Fast DDS library installation

This section describes the instructions for installing eProsima Fast DDS in a Mac OS environment from sources. The following packages will be installed:

  • foonathan_memory_vendor, an STL compatible C++ memory allocator library.

  • fastcdr, a C++ library that serializes according to the standard CDR serialization mechanism.

  • fastrtps, the core library of eProsima Fast DDS library.

First of all, the Requirements and Dependencies detailed below need to be met. Afterwards, the user can choose whether to follow either the colcon) or the CMake) installation instructions.

5.1.1. Requirements

The installation of eProsima Fast DDS in a MacOS environment from sources requires the following tools to be installed in the system: Homebrew

Homebrew is a macOS package manager, it is needed to install some of eProsima Fast DDS’s dependencies. To install it open a terminal window and run the following command.

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install.sh)" Xcode Command Line Tools

The Xcode command line tools package is separate from Xcode and allows for command line development in mac. The previous step should have installed Xcode CLI, to check the correct installation run the following command:

gcc --version CMake, g++, pip3, wget and git

These packages provide the tools required to install eProsima Fast DDS and its dependencies from command line. Install CMake, pip3 and wget using the Homebrew package manager:

brew install cmake python3 wget Gtest

GTest is a unit testing library for C++. By default, eProsima Fast DDS does not compile tests. It is possible to activate them with the opportune CMake configuration options when calling colcon or CMake. For more details, please refer to the CMake options section. Also add the Gtest repository into the workspace directory.

git clone --branch release-1.11.0 https://github.com/google/googletest src/googletest-distribution

5.1.2. Dependencies

eProsima Fast DDS has the following dependencies, when installed from binaries in a Linux environment: Asio and TinyXML2 libraries

Asio is a cross-platform C++ library for network and low-level I/O programming, which provides a consistent asynchronous model. TinyXML2 is a simple, small and efficient C++ XML parser. Install these libraries using Homebrew:

brew install asio tinyxml2 OpenSSL

OpenSSL is a robust toolkit for the TLS and SSL protocols and a general-purpose cryptography library. Install OpenSSL using Homebrew:

brew install openssl@1.1

5.1.3. Colcon installation

colcon is a command line tool based on CMake aimed at building sets of software packages. This section explains how to use it to compile eProsima Fast DDS and its dependencies.

  1. Install the ROS 2 development tools (colcon and vcstool) by executing the following command:

    pip3 install -U colcon-common-extensions vcstool
  2. Create a Fast-DDS directory and download the repos file that will be used to install eProsima Fast DDS and its dependencies:

    mkdir ~/Fast-DDS
    cd ~/Fast-DDS
    wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/eProsima/Fast-DDS/master/fastrtps.repos
    mkdir src
    vcs import src < fastrtps.repos
  3. Build the packages:

    colcon build


The --cmake-args option allows to pass the CMake configuration options to the colcon build command. In Mac OS the location of OpenSSL is not found automatically and therefore has to be passed explicitly: --cmake-args -DOPENSSL_ROOT_DIR=/usr/local/opt/openssl -DOPENSSL_LIBRARIES=/usr/local/opt/openssl/lib. This is only required when building with Security. For more information on the specific syntax, please refer to the CMake specific arguments page of the colcon manual. Run an application

When running an instance of an application using eProsima Fast DDS, the colcon overlay built in the dedicated Fast-DDS directory must be sourced. There are two possibilities:

  • Every time a new shell is opened, prepare the environment locally by typing the command:

    source ~/Fast-DDS/install/setup.bash
  • Add the sourcing of the colcon overlay permanently to the PATH, by typing the following:

    touch ~/.bash_profile
    echo 'source ~/Fast-DDS/install/setup.bash' >> ~/.bash_profile

5.1.4. CMake installation

This section explains how to compile eProsima Fast DDS with CMake, either locally or globally. Local installation

  1. Create a Fast-DDS directory where to download and build eProsima Fast DDS and its dependencies:

    mkdir ~/Fast-DDS
  2. Clone the following dependencies and compile them using CMake.

    • Foonathan memory

      cd ~/Fast-DDS
      git clone https://github.com/eProsima/foonathan_memory_vendor.git
      mkdir foonathan_memory_vendor/build
      cd foonathan_memory_vendor/build
      sudo cmake --build . --target install
    • Fast CDR

      cd ~/Fast-DDS
      git clone https://github.com/eProsima/Fast-CDR.git
      mkdir Fast-CDR/build
      cd Fast-CDR/build
      cmake ..  -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=~/Fast-DDS/install
      sudo cmake --build . --target install
  3. Once all dependencies are installed, install eProsima Fast DDS:

    cd ~/Fast-DDS
    git clone https://github.com/eProsima/Fast-DDS.git
    mkdir Fast-DDS/build
    cd Fast-DDS/build
    cmake ..  -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=~/Fast-DDS/install -DCMAKE_PREFIX_PATH=~/Fast-DDS/install
    sudo cmake --build . --target install


By default, eProsima Fast DDS does not compile tests. However, they can be activated by downloading and installing Gtest. Global installation

To install eProsima Fast DDS system-wide instead of locally, remove all the flags that appear in the configuration steps of Fast-CDR and Fast-DDS, and change the first in the configuration step of foonathan_memory_vendor to the following:

-DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local/ -DBUILD_SHARED_LIBS=ON Run an application

When running an instance of an application using eProsima Fast DDS, it must be linked with the library where the packages have been installed, which in the case of system-wide installation is: /usr/local/lib/ (if local installation is used, adjust for the correct directory). There are two possibilities:

  • Prepare the environment locally by typing the command:

    export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/lib/
  • Add it permanently it to the PATH, by typing:

    touch ~/.bash_profile
    echo 'export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/lib/' >> ~/.bash_profile

5.2. Fast DDS-Gen installation

This section provides the instructions for installing Fast DDS-Gen in a Mac OS environment from sources. Fast DDS-Gen is a Java application that generates source code using the data types defined in an IDL file. Please refer to Introduction for more information.

5.2.1. Requirements

In order to compile Fast DDS-Gen, the following packages need to be installed in the system: Java JDK

The JDK is a development environment for building applications and components using the Java language. Download and install it at the following the steps given in the Oracle website. Gradle

Gradle is an open-source build automation tool. Download and install the last stable version of Gradle in the preferred way. with Homebrew it would be running the command:

brew install gradle


If errors occur during compilation or you do not wish to install gradle, an executable script is included which will download gradle temporarily for the compilation step.

./gradlew assemble

5.2.2. Compiling Fast DDS-Gen

Once the requirements above are met, compile Fast DDS-Gen by following the steps below:

cd ~
git clone --recursive https://github.com/eProsima/Fast-DDS-Gen.git
cd Fast-DDS-Gen
gradle assemble Contents

The Fast-DDS-Gen folder contains the following packages:

  • share/fastddsgen, where the generated Java application is.

  • scripts, containing some user friendly scripts.


    To make these scripts accessible from any shell session and directory, add the scripts folder path to the PATH environment variable using the method described above.